Sticky Ideas & Tech Startups

by mike on January 21, 2007

I just finished “Made to Stick” by brothers Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The book talks about why some ideas “stick” with us and others don’t. Ever heard of the story about someone who woke up in a ice-filled bathtub after getting their kidneys stolen or about Jared from Subway or the catchphrase from the Clinton campaign “Its the economy, stupid”? These are all examples of sticky ideas that we somehow seem to remember. The brothers come up with 6 key characteristics of sticky ideas (SUCCES) – simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and story (to tell a story). These characteristics are important to all companies marketing products to consumers, and especially to startups. In fact, most tech startups are started by a few tech founders who have a very narrow view of the world. We (myself included) assume everyone can navigate this website or install our software without a hitch. We forget what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes – who hasn’t been using a computer since they were 6 years old! The book refers to this as the “curse of knowledge”. It’s very important to understand your target market, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and stay focused. Without any of these things you won’t be able to even deliver a valuable product – let alone build a marketing plan. Remember, it’s easy to lose focus and get off course. Actually, the CEO’s job is to keep everyone focused and marching ahead to the same tune, but that’s topic for another post.

Lastly, Guy Kawaski has a good interview with the authors. Check it out here.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Previous post: Netflix Sucks – Long Live BlockBuster

Next post: Startups & Failure